Another Five Star Review – thank you!

I’ve just received another 5 star review on Amazon – from Peter Fanning, who is a regular on this blog.

Thank you Peter – very much appreciated. This will help get the film out to a wider audience.

For those of you who have read the book but haven’t yet posted a review, here’s a link to make it easier!


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79 thoughts on “Another Five Star Review – thank you!

  1. Bill, my charity tea is done (100 participants this afternoon), I am wiped. BUT, now I will have time to savour your book. Review coming in due order. If the rest of the book is anything like your first 7 chapters… I will have a wonderful time reading it. Ingrid


    • Thanks Ingrid –

      a charity tea for 100 people? My goodness you are amazing.

      Out of interest, what tea did you serve?

      Jennifer and I went to a High Tea last weekend out at a winery just out of Mudgee. It was $65 per head – so pretty exxy – and full of rich people who were into horsey stuff. The winery also is a very upmarket horse stud property, and this High Tea was held in their stables.

      The land around Mudgee is very much sought after for stud properties, as well as wineries.

      The tea though was glorious, and they had hand made macaroons and cakes and beautiful sambos. (sandwiches.)

      I hope the book continues to hold your engagement. It begins to get more introspective as the pilgrimage continues. But it maintains it’s funny moments.

      Thank you for doing a review when you can – and congrats on hosting such a big party!



      • I’ll send you the menu with the tea menu as well. I offered a variety of tea,as per request. Myself I prefer to use loose leaves,but the club wanted bags. I had my son helping and hubby to,but it was a challenge. No volunteer help this time, I didn’t even have time for 😦


        • Ingrid –

          what is it with people wanting tea bags? They’re way way inferior.

          Most tea bags are full of what they sweep up off the floor. Loose leaf tea is the only way to drink tea.

          I pretty much only drink Darjeerling – which I buy in bulk from a small tea store in Bombay. You drink Darjeerling, as you know, without milk or sugar. A very subtle tea.

          When I’m fasting, as I am now, I drink a little bit of Darjeerling, but mainly Chinese green tea or Oolong tea. Again, those little nuggets that open out into the hugest leaves! I would get four pots to one lot of tea leaves. Each pot gets better and better.

          Jennifer and I still have some amazing tea we bought in an ancient tea shop in Malacca, in Malaysia. Magnificent tea.

          I’d love to see the menu!



  2. Good morning from Denmark πŸ™‚ Bill, I’ve decided to wait to buy the book when I’m back in Australia (and no, I’d never intended NOT to buy it!) and am certainly getting a heightened anticipation with the reviews coming through. I never imagined it wouldn’t be a success and of course the catchy title should be something like … BUY THIS IF YOU DON’T BUY ANOTHER BOOK … I too am a tea drinker, but am so very lucky to have a daughter-in-law originating from Sri Lanka, with ties to a tea plantation, so she supplies me with a 1/2 kg supply for Christmas. Until I got their tea, I could never steep tea, as it always got too strong and ‘tanny’, but with this it stays fresh and light, just the way I like it. Very lucky woman I am to have her in my (and of course my son’s) life!! Did you know there’s an incredible tea shop and cafe about 1/2 hour outside of Canberra? They offer a menu of about 300 different teas! Amazing! If you’re interested, I can find out when back in OZ what it’s called. Will be ‘off air’ again pretty much until back in Sydney on the 3rd, but will try to check out the blog with what little computer time I’m able to snatch πŸ™‚


    • Hey Britta,

      Very lucky to have a Sri Lanka connection!

      And of course they have a wonderful cricket team too. Especially in ODis.

      Very sweet of you to buy a book, thank you. But it’s not a prob for me to send you a PDF if you want to read it on the plane home. Let me know.

      It will be great to have you back in Oz!



      • Thanks for the offer Bill, but will wait till I’m home and I can really savour the book. I’m a savage on planes, devouring mindless films and books, anything to keep my mind from realising I’m suspended in space for endless hours of time. So trying to read, enjoy and take in your book would really be sacriledge πŸ™‚ Signing off now until back in OZ – particularly since I’ve just spent my day devouring home-made ‘Danishes’ and later Lehman Brothers’ yummy Shiraz – doesn’t get much better!! :=


  3. I can’t sleep, it’s about 2.25 am in Canada, I am sporting a headache, so the best thing is to get up and do something. I steeped myself a lovely Oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian. It’s a green oolong, a bit flowery to my nose, not the usual Oolong I prefer, more oxidized, malty and toasty, and tried over charcoal. But, this is the last of a gift given to me by a colleague, who’s family lives in that region and has their own tea bushes – it is their tea.
    I heated up some left over scones, a recipe given to me by an American tea expert who’s family has ties to the Earl of Spencer and was given the coveted Kensington Palace Scone recipe.

    When one can’t sleep, one should treat oneself like Royalty.. wouldn’t you agree Bill?

    So, you are a bit of a tea snob, eh! As a Tea Sommelier, I agree with you that loose leaf tea is of course the only way to go… might I just correct you a bit on your assumption that tea bag teas are dustings and fannings swept off the floor. That might have happen many years ago, but it just is not true today. There is good quality tea out there, especially since tea has become rather fashionable again, and even ‘traditional’ tea purveyors have now also a line of tea bag teas.

    I enjoy tea from Darjeeling, especially when in Spring the First Flush is coming in and another colleague visits family for the harvest and then brings a few pounds back and portions it off in our Tea Sommelier circle. I remember when I first studied Darjeeling, the subtle differences of 1st and 2nd flush and being able to also recognizing the tea during blind taste testing. It had me stumped for some time. I simply could not smell or taste the ‘muscatel’, so I went out and bought a few bottles of wine made from muscatel grapes and also some real grapes and my husband and I had lots of fun that evening, tasting the wine, eating the grapes and then finally finding ‘muscatel’ in Darjeeling. It is imprinted in my mind and palette now.

    Since you love green tea, try to get one called Anji Bai Cha, you will have to wait until Spring, it is the first harvest around an area by Anji. It is my favorite green tea.

    Like Darjeeling can be an acquired taste, you either like it or not, Pu erh is my favorite. Was not in the beginning, but now, I can spend a bit of money when I come across an aged one. I happen to be the owner of half a cake Pu erh, about 28 years old and only very nice people get to taste it. πŸ˜‰

    So of course this is all totally off subject, no reason to stop now. πŸ˜‰
    I served a Fall harvest soup in a shooter glass, with a Cheddar Cheese and Chive Biscuit pop to start.
    Followed by savories: Waldorf Salad in Phyllo cups, Smoked Salmon, Curried Chicken sandwich, Egg Sandwich and Roast beef Croissants (they did not choose the cucumber sandwich, which I think is almost a must for a traditional afternoon tea).
    For the sweets: French Macaroons, Rum Truffles, Earl-grey/lavender infused cheesecake and Madeleine’s.
    My scones, Devonshire Cream, Lemon curd (made it myself – I doubt the commercial ones use eggs…lol) and a mixed fruit jam.

    I was fortunate enough to get some lovely tea bagged teas : green, oolong, keemun, jasmine, the traditional Earl Grey and regular blacks, some Rooibos with flavours (I dislike flavoured tea – but it was requested), mint tisane.

    Now in my private functions, I pair my teas to complement the food and if requested I tell some tea stories, and I charge $50.00/person. So your $65 per head is not as pricy as you think, that is a standard fee without champagne at the hotels in Toronto.

    Ah the pills did their magic, head ache down to a dull thumping… so I might as well read more of your book… which is were all this started… Have a lovely Sunday, what’s left of it. Ingrid


    • Ingrid,

      It’s eminently apparent from your post here that you and I definitely have to spend some serious time hanging out!

      You know way more about tea than I do.

      And scones too!!

      I love First Flush, and always try to get it from this very non-de-script shop in Bombay in Churchgate. I usually walk in with a small sports bag, and load up as much as I can carry.

      They sell first flush for about $8 per 250gms, which is a crazy cheap price. It usually lasts me about a year, however I haven’t been back to India for a while now, so I’m running low.

      I haven’t put in the study required to really get my head around the various varieties of Chinese tea. Jennifer and I usually go to Europe via Hong Kong, and there’s a great store in Mongkok, up towards the New Territories, where we buy our Chinese tea, but we usually buy according to taste. They will make cups of tea for you in the shop.

      Your lunch sounds like it was amazing. What a beautiful menu! No wonder you have a headache now, after the stress of hosting such an event.

      At my High Tea, they did have champagne on tap, and other wines later too, so I guess it was worth the price. It was fascinating for Jennifer and me to see a side of our small country town that we hadn’t been privy to before. This horse study community is very snooty!

      Hope you had a good sleep, and you’re feeling better this morning.

      Like I said, you and I have to meet and hang out!! I want to learn more about your teas.



      • Bill, when you come to TIFF next year, I will take you to my favorite tea salon, it’s the lad who’s parents live in Fujian. When you walk into his place, first thing you sit down and taste teas. Never, ever buy a tea untasted… 1st rule of buying tea, even from a place that you have had good tea before. Like wine, each year, the tea is different. It is a farm crop, so like farmers, so much depends on soil conditions, rain, sun, drought, plight, how it is harvested, transported, stored and processed. I have a connections to Sri Lanka as well, I am very familiar with Dilmah teas. Dilhan (one of the sons) and I are acquainted and he and his brother Malek and of course still their father, are a rather young tea company in the world of tea. They produce both, bagged teas and wonderful loose leafs. There is much about this company I truly appreciate, their love for the leaf, promoting education on tea and their involvement in charity. Dilhan told me, in the many steps from growing, tending, harvesting to the finished product, if any 1 of them gets messed up, it compromises the tea.

        I always tell my clients, when they savour tea in a tasting cup, to let their mind wonder, and imagine the women in the field, plucking each leaf. There are teas out there, especially for the ‘bud’ teas, it takes 17,000 buds for 1lb of tea… imagine that!


        • That’s fascinating Ingrid.

          It would take a lifetime to learn.

          I’d love to take you up in your offer, if I attend TIFF next year. I’m hoping that my Indian thriller gets financed soon, in which case Toronto would be the first major festival to premiere.

          There’s o much to discover about ea. I’ve always wondered why no one has started a tea equivalent of Starbucks. But maybe there’s not such a biological need for tea as there is for coffee!




  4. Hi Bill and Ingrid

    Bill I’m halfway through the book and will leave a review, my first ever, when I’ve finished.

    Ingrid you know so much about tea!!! I’m such a novice compared to you two.



  5. Sorry Bill I will review your book as soon as I’ve read it. I haven’t been having any luck transferring it on to my ereader, it’s a Canadian ereader, a Kobo and apparently it doesn’t like Kindle. It transferred I just couldn’t read it 😦 I will have to transfer it to my Notepad and read it from there. Soon I hope!
    Emily xo
    ps have any other Canadians had the same problem?


      • Hi Bill,
        You did send it to me but I loaded it on my ereader and I can’t read it. I also loaded a couple of craft books that I bought from the States that I think probably go with Kindle and I can’t read those either. I can read the Kobo books from Chapters Indigo no problem but it does something really wacky with the others. Either that or I don’t know what I’m doing which is very possible when it comes to computers 😦

        I can read it on the computer it’s just my desktop isn’t in a very comfortable place to read it. So I will load it on to my laptop/notebook which I can read anywhere and go from there πŸ™‚



          • Yes, I do have a Kobo ereader and it should let me read PDF’s but for some reason it isn’t. The book is there but it won’t centre or if it does the print is too small,. If I make it bigger then I can’t turn the pages. I got very frustrated with it and gave up. lol I think it only likes Kobo books which really sucks! But I can’t complain I got it as a Christmas gift πŸ™‚

            I will figure it out in the next day or two and read your book I promise. I can’t wait to read it and may just start reading on my desktop.



          • Hi Emily, I wish I could hep you but I don’t know those readers.

            It is possible to buy it through Smashwords in a format for a kobo reader, but i don’t want you paying for it!



          • Yay!!!! I fixed it. Thanks Bill! I was thinking it was formatted for Kindle and the Kobo site said that you can’t read some Kindle books on it. But it does read PDFs, just differently. I looked on the Smashwords site and they are compatible with Kobo but I went to Support on the Kobo site and they explain how to read it when it’s a PFD. I just turned it sideways and zoomed it and eureka! I can read it. Yay! It also turns the pages better when it’s sideways.

            So you did help me in a round about way πŸ™‚



  6. You’re so right Bill, it will take some definite work to find what I need to eat well but like everything else, it’s doable. I’m repeating myself but I really think this is why my Camino left me feeling disconnected spiritually versus connected like I do in other places. But, since I have been eating this way for 13 years and the Camino was the first time I varied from that eating plan, I think it helps me to understand why.



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